Thirteen weeks into my first pregnancy, my love of fashion and style had taken on a new form: I couldn't wait to drape my "bump" in the newest Pea In The Pod maxidress. What's not to love about a cute pregnant girl? I envisioned my body, face, hair and skin looking exactly as it did pre-baby, but only better (thanks to prenatal vitamins). That is when the first reality of pregnancy struck me: My belly was not the only thing growing and nothing was fitting! So, just as quickly as my own bubble burst, I began to give birth to a whole new fashion-focused hobby.
Aside from hunting for handbags for myself (who said I couldn't have a Balenciaga diaper bag?), I began to learn about designer duds for children. I was happy to discover that my favorite designers and stores sold kids clothes. If I couldn't entertain my own fashion fantasies, I could certainly begin thinking about what I would put on my child. Soon enough I realized that the size of my bump correlated directly to the amount of designer clothes my baby had to have. The less I could buy for myself, the more I invested in my child's wardrobe.
Fast forward five years, three pregnancies and three sons later, and I still have a lot to say about fancy frocks for kids. I am blessed with three healthy boys; I wouldn't change this for anything. Still, the pure irony that I did not give birth to a daughter crushed my dreams of having someone to "oooh" and "aah" over fancy shoes, gorgeous handbags and designer clothes. Forget about the dream of dressing a daughter! But I have perspective: I have learned that Prada pajamas don't help a baby sleep any better, and that at 6 a.m., no one cares who is wearing what.
However, now that I'm a mom and have three boys to dress, I realize just how much time I spend thinking, buying and dressing (and undressing) my children. My looks are no longer just about me. When we are invited somewhere, I quickly begin to search through the closets and eventually store racks to find the outfit I envision my sons wearing to the event.
Much to my chagrin, all three are true boys. They are rough, love getting dirty and could care less what color or style I put them in. Actually, to be totally fair, they would prefer to be naked more than anything. Not long ago, I had a great outfit planned for my oldest son. I had a strategic plan to put it on him last minute, so he wouldn't have time to complain. Little did I know, my son had a very different outfit in mind. My son proudly and quickly proclaimed, "Mom, you don't have to dress me today. I decided to dress myself." I couldn't hide the pride and some disappointment that I wouldn't get my way. He came out of his room with a reindeer Christmas shirt (nevermind that we are Jewish), shorts that were two sizes too small and Crocs. I had to laugh. Again, the pure irony of the situation was bittersweet.
Being a mom has influenced every part of my life, including my shopping habits and fashion-inspired hobbies. This phase of my life looks different than I had imagined, but, having my boys clean and dressed up in the new clothes I bought brings me a sense of satisfaction. It's not about showing the world or my "Mommy and Me" friends that I like nice clothes. It's more about coming into my own and realizing that I don't have to totally lose my passion as a stay-at-home mom. My husband lets everyone know, "The boys don't care what they wear. It's my wife who loves to shop." So, maybe dressing my boys in designer clothes fulfills my need more than theirs. Whatever the case, I'm thankful Burberry has come out with so many collared shirts this season.